Monday, April 8, 2013

Jesus repeats - I AM the light of the World

Jesus repeats - I AM the light of the World

Light0fthe world

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

–––– John 9:5


“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

––– John 8:12

The previous declaration by Jesus that He is "the Light of the World"  was made during the Feast of Tabernacles (September- October).  Jesus again states that He is the Light of the world. This time he makes the statement after an encounter with a man who has been blind from birth.  
As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples questioned Him: “ Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”   ––– John 9:1-6
I cannot imagine what it is like to be blind.  This man was blind from birth.  He had never seen anything at all.  He never enjoyed the myriad of colors most of us take for granted. I would imagine that many of our experiences would be somewhat diminished without sight.  My granddaughter loves the color pink. For her birthday, her mother baked cupcakes. My daughter had decorated all the cupcakes so beautifully. They were all a deliciously sweet vanilla flavor.  My granddaughter was sure that the cupcakes decorated with pink flowers of frosting, and topped with colorful sprinkles tasted the best. Those born without sight actually don't know what they are missing. They cannot experience vision or color. If we with sight did not testify to the existence of color, the congenital blind would not suspect that they were missing anything. 

We are all like the blind man.  We are living in darkness.  We are all born spiritually blind.  We are all born into a world of sin.  God created the world, and it was good. Genesis 1:31  But mankind messed that up.  We let sin into the world.  We are all sinners. Without the Light of Jesus, sin rules us.  God became human, entered into our world to be the Light.  He died for us and redeemed us from our sins.  Like those who are born without physical vision, we do not realize that we are spiritually blind.  Those of us who know "The Light of the World, " must testify to existence and work Jesus to those who are spiritually blind.

We are not sure of the time and place of this miracle and statement.  John presents this fact to show us the escalating clash of Jesus with the religious elite of Jerusalem. It was sometime after the feast of Tabernacles and before Hanukkah. In Judea, during Bible times, it was very common to see disabled people along the well traveled roads to the temple. Begging was often their only means of support. This man was probably known by the people who traveled these roads. This man was born blind, rather than blinded by disease or an accident. The disciples, and many others, thought that his congenital condition was due to sin. Perhaps his sin, or the sins of his parents. The Pharisees and the Sadducees, taught that any misfortune as the direct result of some one's sin. One cannot be too hard on the disciples, they we just responding to what they had been taught.

Jesus directly answered the question of the disciples. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him." Now understand, none of this was happenstance.  Jesus did not just happen upon a blind man.  The blind man did not just happen to meet Jesus.  Jesus was not surprised that Pharisees would become angry.  All this shows the sovereignty of God.  The man was blind due to a sinful world system.  The blind man was blind because he was blind.  He was not blind due to his personal sins.  He was not blind due to the sins of his relatives.  God used the blindness of this man for the glory of God and for the good of those who believe.  The blind man was there, and Jesus was there at a preordained time because “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. This healing was done to glorify God.  This is done so that we might know that Jesus is "The Light of the World."

Jesus then continues: We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.   Jesus used the images of day and night to warn His disciples that His time on earth would soon come to an end. The time of darkness would be the crucifixion and the time in the grave before His resurrection.  As Christians we are to continue the works of Jesus in our lives. We are to follow His command to us to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel."  The time of grace is limited in the individual.  Once a person dies, it is too late to follow Jesus.  The time of grace is also limited to the earth. There will be a day when the world will suffer the ultimate judgement of God.  Don't wait too long - night is coming.

Jesus provided the means of physical light for this blind man.  You must take the time to read this entire chapter in John.  The story of the blind man that was healed is in John 9  There is much to learn and rejoice over in this chapter.When questioned by the religious authorities repeatedly, he never changes his testimony.  He sticks to the truth of what Christ had done for him. He was insulted and expelled from the synagogue by the Pharisees. His spiritual eyes were also opened by Jesus.  You can see his growth of a short time.  He first call Jesus, "This man Jesus."  John 9:11  Then he call Him, "A prophet  Matthew 9:17,  then  "A Man of God.""  He grew in knowledge of who Jesus was, finally naming Him, "Son of Man."  The blind man was healed and then he knew Jesus as the Messiah.

Remember the night is coming - Do You know the Messiah?

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